14 weeks to go

Week four of the year we had the regular YouGov, Ashcroft and Populus polls, the first ComRes telephone poll of the year and the first 2015 GB poll from Survation – the first in a regular series for the Daily Mirror.

YouGov/S Times (23/1/15) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
Survation/Mirror (25/1/15) – CON 31%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 23%, GRN 3%
Populus (25/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
Ashcroft (25/1/15) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 9%
ComRes/Indy (25/1/15) – CON 31%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (26/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (27/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (28/1/15) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (29/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
Populus (29/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4%

The polls this week continued to show an extremely tight race – every single poll had the two main parties within one point of each other, and unlike last week there were slightly more polls with the Tories ahead than with Labour ahead. The UKPR average though still has figures of CON 32%(nc), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 15%(nc), GRN 6%(-1), as Opinium and ICM polls from last week are still contributing towards the average. For anyone interested in the differences between some of the polls from different companies, I explored them in this post earlier this week.

Welsh polls

There were also two Welsh voting intention polls out this week, the regular YouGov/ITV/University of Cardiff poll and an ICM poll for the BBC. Westminster voting intention figures for the two polls were:

ICM/BBC – CON 21%, LAB 38%, LDEM 7%, Plaid 12%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
YouGov/ITV – CON 23%, LAB 37%, LDEM 6%, Plaid 10%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%

Week four

  • At the beginning of the week there was a lot of froth about UKIP’s NHS policy and the Green party’s policies on membership of extremist groups and a citizen’s income. It’s unlikely that either will make much difference for the simple fact that most people have no idea at all about what their policies are on such issues. For UKIP, the majority of people think they have at least a fairly good idea of what sort of approach they would take on immigration and Europe, but on other subjects people draw a blank. For the Green party 54% think they’ve got some idea what the Green party would do on the environment, but on everything else at least three quarters know nothing. It doesn’t necessarily stop people backing them, as broad perceptions of a party’s values, principle and competence are far more important than specific policies anyway. I suspect that maybe even more the case for parties who have no realistic chance of getting a majority and putting said policies into action.
  • As we passed the 100 days to go mark both Labour and the Conservatives put out new policies, Labour on the NHS, the Conservatives on welfare benefits. The Conservatives headline pledge to reduce the benefit cap to £23,000 was supported by 61% to 25% (including amongst Labour voters), even though people didn’t think it made people look for work. The idea of stopping housing benefit for young people was more divisive – 42% supported the idea, 40% opposed it.
  • The NHS is generally a rock solid issue for Labour anyway – last week they had a thirteen point lead over the Tories on which party people thought would handle the issue the best. Welfare benefits is actually much more contested ground, in the same poll 28% of people thought Labour would handle the issue the best, 28% of people thought the Conservatives would handle the issue the best.

Projections

The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015 and Elections Etc are below. All are still predicting a hung Parliament, though Election Forecast and May2015 have the Conservatives catching up with Labour after a week of close polls.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 282(-1), LAB 280(+2), LD 24(+1), SNP 40(-1), UKIP 3(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 283(+5), LAB 285(-1), LD 27(-1), SNP 32(-2), UKIP 2(-1)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 280(+11), LAB 280(-9), LD 24(-3), SNP 38(nc), UKIP 5(+1)


299 Responses to “14 weeks to go”

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  1. Paul/Colin,

    I think you are both right that the polls suggest that the Cons are unlikely to reach the vote share they did in 2010 whist the polls also tell us that there are enough ABLabs to get over 35%.

    What is the spread betting mid point for Con vote share, anyone know?

    If it was 36% (GB) I would not which way to go if I were a betting person?

    Personally, I think, the key variable is Labour’s vote share (as it always has been throughout the parliament)
    Not withstanding that Scotland, UKIP and UNS inapplicability has made the equation more complex.

  2. “. But historically – and recent poll movements support it – the gap closes in favour of the governing party as the GE approaches. ”

    My understanding – sure I read it here – is the opposite.

    Any one got figures either way? I am thinking of the actual 4/5 week campaign period.

  3. PAUL

    @”Hopeful, rather than analytical.”

    No more so than yours I venture to suggest. But we won’t fall out about it-there are plenty of “analytical” efforts out there to please us both :-)

    @”MOE works both ways”

    Not at the same time-and I chose the + option :-)

    @”so will the prospective interviews…”

    Yes -of course-but I was being optimistic about the relative cock-up potential :-)

    @”Another thing I would add is that, right or wrong, the larger part of VI does not anticipate further cuts announced by the Tories with much enthusiasm and just about every other party will be pointing that out.”

    Don’t know if it does or not. I expect there will be lots of questions about both parties’ spending plans.

    @”nor do the overwhelming majority on expert commentators……………”

    Is that so-want to give me the list -for & against ?

  4. @Barney Crockett

    But they do pose particular difficulties for potential partners because they can’t under any circumstances want a UK government to succeed”

    Don’t really see that. While Scotland is part of the UK they will want to demonstrate that they are a responsible partner at the same time showing that it would be far better for Scotland to be independent as they are thwarted by the old UK parties in key areas ( e.g. Trident, possibly the EU, etc) So they are most likely to go for a c&s arrangement if they can and not a coalition. Hopefully UK Labour will not show the visceral animosity to the SNP which has so undermined SLAB.

  5. JIM JAM

    @” think you are both right that the polls suggest that the Cons are unlikely to reach the vote share they did in 2010 whist the polls also tell us that there are enough ABLabs to get over 35%.”

    It was Paul who said that Jim Jam; not me -my response was that it isn’t cast in stone.

    Honestly-at this stage in the game-the polling being as it is-can anyone credibly state that whilst 35% Con is possible-36% isn’t ??

    Its a difference of 1% pt of VI Jim Jam.

    I have no idea how its all going to turn out-but arguing the absolute certainty of a 1% pt difference is just daft as far as I am concerned.

    Just my opinion though . :-)

  6. Hireton

    I find it a useful rule-of-thumb that any partisan poster opining on the “real” motives of their opponents should be accompanied by Lot’s wife. :-)

  7. Did the Lots own a dog OldNat?

  8. colin

    “@”nor do the overwhelming majority on expert commentators……………”

    Is that so-want to give me the list -for & against ? ”

    This will strike you as bizarre but I haven’t kept a list of their names in a little book.

    However, as it is you who seems to cast doubt on that statement do feel free to unearth the facts to prove me wrong.

    I guess I am saying [back to my “overwhelming” which you took exception to] that I doubt whether much money is being gambled on the Tories increasing VI and seats from 2010.

    That doesn’t mean it is impossible: in fact it means precisely what I wrote, viz it is overwhelmingly UNlikely.

    [Maybe I should now add UKIP into my “why it is unlikely” column………………….]

  9. @Barney Crockett

    “But they do pose particular difficulties for potential partners because they can’t under any circumstances want a UK government to succeed.”

    That is a serious misunderstanding of why the SNP has been so successful in Scotland. You don’t convince people you can govern well by governing badly.

  10. Electoral Reform Society Scotland are maintaining a useful list of selected candidates.

    http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/ERSScotlandNews

    Current position –

    Lab – 53 selected : 15 women (28%)
    Con – 41 selected : 6 women (15%)
    SNP – 35 selected : 12 women (34%)
    L_D – 18 selected : 3 women (17%)
    Grn – 11 selected : 5 women (45%)

  11. “Current position –

    Con – 41 selected : 6 women (15%)
    L_D – 18 selected : 3 women (17%)”

    Seems a helluva lot when all they do is bang on about shoes.

  12. R&D

    Just because neither of you wear shoes, there’s no need to sneer at Alastair Carmichael and David Mundell, who do.

  13. ole nat

    We’ve got littul snow boots ta very much.

  14. Blimey, that Podemos rally in Madrid looked impressive today. Is it possible that another European democracy, this time one with a sizeable economy, is going to reject the men in suits and strike out in another completely different direction? The Spanish election later this year promises to be very interesting and Podemos have got a real chance of surfing on the wave Syriza generated in Greece. Wonderfully refreshing possibilities and, dare I say, somewhat more inspiring than those likely to be posed to the British electorate in 95 days time.

    I wonder what the Holy Troika making of it all? Don’t they run Europe? These pesky voters are proving a surprising and welcome irritant.

    :-)

  15. It seems somewhat disingenuous to say that 95% of all terrorist victims are Muslim when it seems self-evident that by far the greatest majority of such attacks and deaths take place in Muslim countries, and are almost all carried out on Muslims BY Muslims.

    There is surely no comparison with such events as the holocaust, or far more recent mass, religious and ethnic “cleansing.”

    [what an appalling word to have gone into common parlance.]

  16. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    I thought that Nicola Sturgeon should have worn boots instead of those lovely tartan heels. Then the SNP could have brought back the Nancy Sinatra ditty: “These boots are made for walking”.

  17. crossbat

    I wonder if these events will impinge on thinking and tactics in our own little world?

    I feel that the electorate are open to other options – beyond more cuts.

    Whether right or wrong there is a school of thought that equates it all with the mediaeval popularity of blood letting in medicine and the idea that, when it doesn’t work, the sensible option is to let some more out of the victim – I mean patient’s – body.

  18. New Greek Government embarks on new strategy of privatising government property.

    “Greek government have put all the ministerial BMWs up for sale.”

  19. Colin

    The Cons don’t need 36%, 35% will do if Labour drops to 27%, and Labour have been dropping steadily over the last year (according to the polls) and I see no reason why that should not continue. The news for Labour in the last week has not been good at all.

  20. @TOH
    Quite so.

  21. @Statgeek
    ‘They were ahead in London in 2010 and aren’t ahead now. ‘
    Surely the Tories were 2% behind Labour in London in 2010!

  22. Again the Tory vote in GB in 2010 was 37% – not 36!

  23. ODNAT

    :-)

  24. TOH

    That sounds so like the caricature of Douglas Haig in “Oh! What a Lovely War”. :-)

  25. TOH

    Thanks.

    Yes-I was just-for once-taking issue with the asertion that Cons cannot possibly get the same as in 2010.

    imo its as much wishfull thinking as so many other cast iron certainties being laid before us.

  26. @J.R.Tomlin 4.53

    ‘@Barney Crockett
    “But they do pose particular difficulties for potential partners because they can’t under any circumstances want a UK government to succeed.”
    That is a serious misunderstanding of why the SNP has been so successful in Scotland. You don’t convince people you can govern well by governing badly.’

    :)

  27. Colin

    I agree with you, although not about the wishful thinking bit. Seems perfectly possible to me.

  28. TOH

    I meant that saying it isn’t possible is wishful thinking !

    :-)

  29. colin

    “I was just-for once-taking issue with the asertion that Cons cannot possibly get the same as in 2010.”

    Well asserted.

    [Although, of course, no-one has claimed otherwise. “Overwhelmingly unlikely” and “impossible” have two different meanings: the former clearly allowing for that possibility to occur.]

    Not surprisingly I would also concede that, were Labour to drop to 27% it won’t matter much. The difference is that I am talking about outcomes based on actually polling evidence and likelihood, rather than wishful thinking.

    S’prised you don’t know that really……………..

  30. I read this site religiously. As you don’t know me I am a former floating voter who will never be voting again.

    I am however fascinated by general elections.

    I have a question about this years – have we got any evidence of the bias of low turn outs?

    For example –

    As I see it many seem sick of the coalition however when they look at Labour they either don’t see much difference or they don’t think Labour currently represents them or they don’t think the two Eds are credible enough. In polling these people would typical vote Labour but on the day?

    The same could be said for Tory voters who haven’t gone UKIP but perhaps are inclined to sit on their hands.

    In a contest that (from my perspective) is the most exciting election in my lifetime (save perhaps 1992) it perhaps could make a difference?

    (For the record I live in a marginal that switched from Labour to Tory. Today I spotted Green party activists out on the street. The Tories are already sending leaflets. Labour seem to be hollowed out due to recent infighting and I haven’t received anything from them. UKIP haven’t turned up despite the BNP doing worryingly well at the last election)

  31. @TOH

    “…… if Labour drops to 27%, and Labour have been dropping steadily over the last year (according to the polls) and I see no reason why that should not continue.”

    The latest Opinium poll to be published in the Observer tomorrow has the Tories at 29%, four points behind Labour.

    I’d be careful about what some might think is rather premature and misplaced hubris.

    @Rosieand Daisie

    “Anyway, our own little troika have spoken and all is well.”

    Lol. They certainly speak to each other quite a lot!

    As for the Arsenal v Villa game tomorrow, tell your boys to go easy, won’t you??

    :-)

  32. Battso

    “As for the Arsenal v Villa game tomorrow, tell your boys to go easy, won’t you??”

    No.

  33. I can’t really see why either party would be in a good mood right now. 29% is appalling polling and 33% not much better. If the Conservatives are in a good mood it’s possibly because they’re watching Labour get hurt, but sadism will only take you so far.

  34. Good Evening All, from our cold beach,

    CROSSBAT 11.
    Thanks for the news from Opinium. How fares the Lib Dem Party?

  35. @R&D and Mr Nameless

    Why don’t we form an alternative troika? If you say “Quite so” to all my posts, I’ll promise to say “Hear,hear” to all yours.

    Who’s going to be our voice of Common Sense though, ffs?

    :-)

  36. Quite so El Battso – the voice of common sense.

  37. @R&D

    Quite so.

    :-)

  38. Crossbat11

    The latest Opinium poll to be published in the Observer tomorrow has the Tories at 29%, four points behind Labour.

    No they don’t, that’s an old poll

    Labour’s lead falls back to only one point as the Conservatives recover, while the Liberal Demcorats fall behind the Greens for the first time.

    http://ourinsight.opinium.co.uk/survey-results/political-polling-27th-january-2015

    Conservative 32% +4

    Labour 33% n/c

    Liberal Democrats 5% -2

    UKIP 18% -2

    Green 6% n/c

    SNP 5% n/c

    BNP 0% -1

    Plaid Cymru 0% n/c

    Other 1% n/c

  39. ROGER MEXICO.
    Thanks for the new poll news; knowledge is power.
    I have sensed that UKIP might fall away a touch, and that the Lib Dems might fall away from earlier high points.

    It is an excitingly tight race.

  40. Twitter is not giving Con at 29 on Opinium. All the folks there are saying –

    Lab 33 (=)
    Con 32 (+4)
    UKIP 18 (-2)
    Green 6 (=)
    Lib Dem 5 (-2)

  41. Oops, sorry, Roger got there first and with more detail.

  42. Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the Opinium figures – though they probably should get the prize for the most useless set of data tables!

  43. some posts being put up on here about labours vote share dropping to 27% at the election are about as likely as hell freezing over the polls following all the parties manifesto launches are going to be the ones to realy take notice of

  44. Statgeek

    Doing an Ashcroft…the May 2010 to Nov 2011 data is updated and you can have a sneak preview of the London crossbreak

    I don’t know whether you saw my long rambling comment in a previous thread about London polling:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9175/comment-page-8#comment-964331

    but there does seem to be a discrepancy between London crossbreaks and actual dedicated London polls for the ES. This could be due to lack of ethnic weighting in the former before this month, though your figures so far do appear to show that Labour is still too low and UKIP too high according to them.

    So it might be worth calibrating the crossbreak figures against the ES polls – even where we haven’t had the tables they have published the headline figures, though without a separate Green figure:

    ht tps://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/rrucdkldrp/YG-Trackers-London.pdf

    Unfortunately there’s not a separate SNP column either, despite their frequent non-zero appearance in YouGov’s London figures.

  45. @tobyhelm: Lab lead at 1 in new Op/Obs poll as Lib Dems hit new low. Lab 33 (n/c), Con 32 (up 4). Ukip 18 (-2). Grn 6 (n/c). LDems 5 (-2). SNP 5 (n/c).

  46. Wes/Roger M

    You’re right on the Opinium poll. I got thrown by a Mike Smithson tweet talking about VIs for first time voters. He seemed to suggest there was also a national VI poll with Labour on 33 and the Tories on 29.

    A timely reminder for me not to delve into Political Betting for poll updates!

  47. @Candy

    Very interesting to see your point of view thanks.

    I’m afraid I’m an English, Labour/Green/Lib Dem voter who voted No in the referendum so your casual insults about being a typical Scot pulled back from the brink don’t really apply to me.

    Your argument seems to boil down to “I believe the SNP were lying ****s during the referendum so they’re still lying ****s now.”

    That’s fair enough and I can understand why people with your outlook feel uncomfortable about the prospect of the SNP in Government or C&S arrangements.

    Will be interesting to see how many others like you there are. Polling evidence in Scotland shows even most No voters and opposition supporters seem to have positive views of Nicola Sturgeon. Net scores of +11 Labour, + 40 Lib Dem, + 92 SNP, + 25 Others and even amongst Conservatives only -1 with 44% of Conservatives approving of Nicola.

    This is higher than the net approval Scottish Labour voters have of Ed Miliband (+1).

    While opinions south of the border are bound to be more sceptical on the SNP it’s clear they will be a major part of the next election and I’ll be interested how the English electorate engage with the SNP over the campaign.

    I suspect as it becomes clear another referendum is on the back burner views towards the SNP may soften in England, especially amongst voters with a similar political outlook to the SNP on non Constitutional issues.

    By the way it doesn’t just apply to Nicola Sturgeon. John Swinney gets a better approval ranking as Deputy First Mnister from Scottish Conservatives (+3) than Nick Clegg gets as Deputy Prime Minister (-6).

  48. Crossbat11

    Hear, Hear!

  49. Tonight’s Opinium poll seems more in line with the poll of one month ago when the numbers then were

    Con 32 Lab 33 LD 8 Ukip 17 Green 4

    so the only change from one month ago with this firm is Greens +2, Ukip +1 & LD – 3

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